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1 October 2007 Osteological Morphometrics of Australian Chelonioid Turtles
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Abstract

Extant and fossil Australian chelonioid turtles were examined for 57 osteological morphometric variables. Data were analysed using principal components analysis and canonical variates analysis, after Burnaby isometric ‘size’ removal, as well as multivariate allometry. Results indicate that Lepidochelys spp. are proportionately differentiated from other Cheloniidae. The majority of chelonioid osteological variables scale isometrically, with less than a third exhibiting positive or negative allometry. Skull length and width, postero-ventral skull, mandible length, scapular and pubic variables are found to be useful for differentiating between extant and extinct chelonioids. Skull length and width, mandible height, jaw symphysis length, premaxilla height, femoral length, scapular, pelvic, plastral and rib variables are established as useful differentiators of cheloniids. Australian fossil protostegids are morphometrically more similar to cheloniids than dermochelyids, and no cranial morphometric evidence could be found for the presence of more than one protostegid species. Some osteological allometric variables may be valuable for use in determining the relationships of chelonioids; however these should be examined in conjunction with morphology-based cladistic analyses to test established phylogenies.

Troy Myers "Osteological Morphometrics of Australian Chelonioid Turtles," Zoological Science 24(10), 1012-1027, (1 October 2007). https://doi.org/10.2108/zsj.24.1012
Received: 5 February 2007; Accepted: 1 June 2007; Published: 1 October 2007
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